From tragedy and big seas to flat calm and floating, the 110th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac (CYCRTM) presented by Wintrust, was truly a race of extremes. Our sailing community suffered a tragic loss when Jon Santarelli, a crew member aboard Imedi, fell overboard and was not recovered.
The first 24 hours the 288 racing teams beat upwind in a northerly 15-25 knots, with six-to-eight foot seas as they sailed up Lake Michigan. As the low moved east, the wind lightened and a weak high pressure system met the fleet in the northern part of the lake. After several hours, a gentle lake breeze filled in to bring to bulk of the fleet to the finish line.
More than 100 boats finished between 1 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.
First to finish for the Royono Trophy, Il Mostro crossed the line Sunday evening at 7:45 pm. Within minutes, Windquest and Wizard, also in the Turbo Section, finished with an incredible Michigan sunset welcoming them to Mackinac Island. Broderi, the first to finish in the Cruising Division, finished at 8:45 pm, followed closely by Albatross.
“I’ve never been prouder to be a sailor,” said Sarah Renz, CYCRTM Chair. “It has been the most challenging race and I’m so proud of the way the competitors, the organizers, the Chicago and Mackinac Island communities have come together to embrace and support our sailors and the sport. This truly has become America’s Offshore Challenge.”
During this afternoon’s Awards ceremony at the Grand Hotel lawn, Chicago Yacht Club Commodore Leif Sigmond will pay tribute to Jon Santarelli and ask for a moment of silence.
by Laura Muma